1. Create shared goals and strategies
It is often too easy to fall into silos, particularly when marketing teams focus only on acquisition and higher level campaign metrics and sales teams become stuck in loops with customer pain points. Having shared goals and metrics which are understandable and meaningful to both teams leads to improved output and efficiencies over time. Working towards the same ‘north star’ means that teams understand the larger aim the company is working towards, and hopefully how their work ladders into that vision.
In a practical sense, a strong executive team should help marketing and sales teams develop:
- Shared revenue goals ($ metrics)
- A list of target accounts and/or customer personas (customer metrics)
- Shared customer retention and engagement goals (campaign metrics).
2. Agreed ways of working and timeframes for delivery
A service-level agreement (SLA) is a well established tool to respectfully set out working arrangements between a business and their client. But why not bring this tool into the internal workspace? The use of SLAs have the ability to provide clarity of roles for sales and marketing teams within a company.
A simple agreement outlining which team is responsible for what, and in what timeframe, will go a long way toward eliminating misunderstandings between the teams. It is important to spell out key responsibilities in the lead nurturing and prospect processes to start; and involve teams to contribute and define what other key processes and responsibilities should be included in the agreement.
3. Adopt technology that work for everyone
Using the same technology makes working together so much easier. Data sharing, lead generation and nurturing, defined KPIs, customer conversion and customer retention — all of this gets significantly more difficult if your teams aren’t using the same technology. It’s akin to speaking different languages, over time it’s likely that information can get lost in translation.
With all the solutions out there, there’s no excuse not to adopt technology that works for both teams. This does involve key understanding of the operational processes for marketing and sales teams, and most importantly having a clear strategy. This overarching strategy and knowledge of how the business delivers values to its users should help select the key tools and platforms to be used by both groups.
4. Keep communications channels open
If the only marketing and sales people that regularly talk to each other are the managers, you’ve got a problem. Consider having regular cross-department meetings so individual team members can regularly touch base, and make sure the conversations have both work and play elements. It will go a long way in encouraging communication and helping each team understand what the other does.
→ The take home message
When it comes to marketing and sales, your company doesn’t need to be a house divided. Get your marketing department and sales teams on the same side with shared goals, agreement about who is responsible for what, technology that works for everyone, and regular meetings to encourage communication — and watch your company culture and bottom-line benefit.
© Ellen McKeon 2022